smart spending

8 things you need to know about layaway

Down payments or deposits are possible
Down payments or deposits are possible

Most retailers require a down payment, says Butler. While some stores may set a minimum, others will let you select the amount, he says.

In addition, some retailers levy a nonrefundable fee for setting up layaway.

Consumers will also need to share some information -- usually the same data you'd share to write a check: photo ID, name, address and phone number, says Hutt.

The retailer shouldn't need your Social Security number, credit card number (unless that's how you're paying), bank information, income or employment data, she says.

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